Marne Division takes stand against 3D
December recognizes National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. Marne Soldiers attended the Driving Under the Influence and Defensive Driving course at Woodruff Theatre, Dec. 5.

FORT STEWART, Ga. - While the month of December reflects moments of joyous celebrations and the spirit of giving, the last month of the year also symbolizes prevention and awareness.

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month or 3D Month.

In recognition of 3D Month, the Fort Stewart Army Substance Abuse Program and the Georgia State Patrol coordinated the Driving Under the Influence and Defensive Driving course for Soldiers of the Marne Division at Woodruff Theatre, Dec. 5.

"December 1st through the 31st is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month," said David Bennett, Prevention Coordinator for Stewart's ASAP Program. "We're getting Georgia State Police to come in and do a class on DUI and Defensive Driving for all the Soldiers."

According to Yourhealthinformation.com, a USA Today article states that more than 1.5 million people were arrested in the United States last year for driving drunk and at least that many are estimated to have driven under the influence of drugs.

The National Commission Against Drunk Driving Statistics show that someone dies in an alcohol-related traffic crash every 30 minutes and every two minutes someone is hurt as a result. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention share that drugs such as marijuana and cocaine have been identified as factors in 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths.

Bennett says that the course goes hand-in-hand with the Marne Pride Proclamation.

"I have a copy of the Marne Pride at the doorway here," he said. "It just goes hand-in-hand. The [Commanding General] wants us to make sure the Soldiers maintain that Marne Pride. [He wants them] to take care of each other, not just themselves, but to look out for the other Soldier and not let them get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol and/or drugs."

Bennett said that the course is the first one this year and that it is a good opportunity for Soldiers to get first-hand experience from one who has been out on the roads and understand the dangers like Trooper Sinquefield.

Senior Trooper Andy Sinquefield, Georgia State Patrol, states that safe driving is about responsibility.

"It's just being responsible and taking care of each other really," he said. "What we want to do is make sure . . . that we are responsible for each other. The best present you can give during the holiday season is just being a friend, being that designated driver."

For Pfc. Hung Vuong, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the course reflects the reality of the outcome of driving while under the influence. Every Soldier will get a little experience of what happens when one drives drunk or drugged, he said.

"We want you to have a good time and be able to celebrate," Sinquefield said. "We just want you to do it responsibly and take care of each other."

And, for one final tip, Pfc. Vuong says that if you're drinking, don't drive.

Page last updated Wed December 7th, 2011 at 00:00